Holy Name graduates first class in 53 years

From left to right, Piper Burrows, Helen McBroom, Lindsay Maloney, Nicholas Mitchell, Katelyn Rexford and Roman Zeise. They are Holy Name School's first graduating class since the 1970s. 

What's happening: Holy Name School is celebrating after the Escanaba Catholic high school had its first graduating class in 53 years. Once a major private school with numerous sports rivalries and graduating classes, Holy Name shifted to an elementary and middle school. But Delta County has one of the largest populations of school-aged children in the Upper Peninsula, and the school saw an opportunity to bring back its high school offerings. Six students graduated in the 2024 class, a larger graduating class than three public and two private schools in the region.

More education options: Private high schools used to be prevalent across the Upper Peninsula but over the years, many reduced to kindergarten-eighth grade options or closed. Increasing and shifting population trends have expanded educational opportunities in some areas of the U.P., including the Keweenaw Peninsula, where a new school, Copper Island Academy, opened recently in Houghton County. 

What they're saying: “To me, it feels like we have finished starting,” said Mark Surrell, who is headmaster at Holy Name School. “We started three years ago with only two grades and grew year over year to now we have a full school with all four grades, double enrollment and our first batch of seniors.”

What's next: Enrollment periods are now available for Upper Peninsula schools, regardless of public or private designation. Schools can be contacted at their offices or through their websites.
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